The Difference between SFX and VFX

Don’t worry, you are not the only one wondering what the difference between SFX and VFX is. Trust us, film production companies use a wide variety of unique terminology that film students still struggle to understand. It’ll take you two minutes to learn the difference between these two abbreviations.

VFX – stands for video effects. That may not seem too challenging and that is because it isn’t. Video effects are additions to the actual graphic/video/shot. Scenes that include green scenes rely on VFX in the post-production stage of the film. This can be a shot of background scenery, the hammer Thor or even a character that is embodied by CGI (computer-generated imagery).

Not to difficult, right?

SFX – is the abbreviated way to say special effects. Now, there is further confusion for some because SFX is sometimes termed as sound effects—an aspect that film production companies work on in post-production as well. However, typically, SFX refers to special effects (an acronym that might be used to better represent sound effects is SE, but that is not the most common either). This means that when film production companies use SFX in a sentence, they are talking about the added effects on the set rather than in post-production. Things like animal suits, prosthetic makeup, animatronics and other effects that are on a character or used on a scene are categorized as special effects.

While some SFX (special effects) are now being done by VFX (video effects) like explosions, there are still some examples of VFX and SFX that you would likely recognize. An obvious one to all generations is Yoda from Star Wars—he falls under the category of SFX. The magic that floods out of Harry Potter’s wand is a recognizable video effect (VFX).

With many film production companies turning to CGI for their unique and high action scenes, VFX are being used more than ever and the trend seems to rely on SFX less and less. Yet, CGI is a highly advanced aspect of video production that is usually done at major studios. For videos on YouTube or company websites, SFX still plays a large role.

Whether you were simply curious about the two abbreviations or you are looking for something more, to reiterate, VFX are added effects created digitally in post-production and SFX are used on the actual set.

For any other video production related question or inquiry, check out Big Door for more information. 

 

VFX – stands for video effects.

– additions to the actual graphic/video/shot. 

– Scenes that include green scenes rely on VFX in the post-production stage of film.

Examples

– Background scenery, the hammer Thor or even CGI (computer-generated imagery).

– The magic that floods out of Harry Potter’s wand

SFX – is the abbreviated way to say special effects. 

added effects on the set rather than in post-production. 

– Things like animal suits, prosthetic makeup, animatronic and other effects that are on a character or used on a scene are categorized as special effects.

Example

– Yoda from Star Wars